Tehran: Iran`s supreme leader said on Tuesday that
more support for domestic industrial production can counter
Western sanctions over Tehran`s nuclear programme.
The statement by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei marking the
Iranian new year is the latest in a series of displays of
defiance by the country`s senior leadership against the
pressures, ranging from sanctions to the option of future
military strikes, placed on Iran by the US and the West.
IRNA agency quoted Khamenei as saying that Iran can
withstand the economic pressures, which include blocking many
Iranian banks from the network that handles most international
Iran has faced decades of sanctions. The latest sanctions
placed in recent months are far tougher however than previous
ones and target Iran`s banking sector and critical oil exports
that provide some USD 75 billion, some 80 per cent of the
country`s foreign revenue.
"If the Iranian nation resorts to its determination,
awareness and planning it will overcome challenges that the
enemy has provided," said Khamenei, who has the final say on
all matter of state.
He said that if Iran`s domestic economy flourishes, the
country`s enemies would lose hope and their "plotting" would
come to an end.
The Iranian leader said government should support industry
and agriculture. Investors and workers should boost production
and consumers should choose domestic products rather than
The country imports nearly USD 50 billion worth of
machinery, cars, home appliances, and food including fruit,
meat and rice.
The new sanctions were put into place by the US and the EU
after Iran refused to stop nuclear activities that the West
suspects are aimed at developing weapons technology.
Iran denies the charges, saying its nuclear program have
only geared toward peaceful purposes like power generation and
Khamenei lauded last year`s Arab Spring uprisings, which
have been followed by electoral successes by Islamist
He said that the uprisings "have encircled the Zionist
regime, Israel, the number one enemy of the Islamic and
Israel, Iran`s archenemy, have not ruled out military
option against Iran`s nuclear facilities.